top of page

Food Forests – closed loop systems

Symbiotic food growing system where each element works in harmony

Food Forests – closed loop systems
  • Nitrogen-fixing plants extract nitrogen from the atmosphere which can in turn feed other plants. This happens through spreading pruned branches from nitrogen-fixers underneath other plants to slowly feed them nitrogen as the branches decompose.

  • Plants such as comfrey which contain deep tap roots (anywhere up to around 10 feet) draw minerals up from deep underground. These can then be used to feed essential nutrients to other plants, such as cutting comfrey leaves and leaving where needed.

  • Not tilling or annually digging up soil allows mycorrhizal fungal networks to stay intact and provide beneficial symbiotic benefits to the wider system. They provide nutrients obtained from the soil to plants whilst acquiring sugars and therein energy from the plant roots. 

  • In an established food forest the mycorrhizal fungal networks connect the roots of different plants, providing a host of functions, including the regulation of nutrient flow and helping to maintain a healthy, balanced system. They can even pass nitrogen from the nitrogen-fixers to plants where it is required.

  • Strongly aromatic plants such as herbs can deter pests. The same can be said of certain wildflowers with their pest deterrent scents and allium plants (wild garlic, perennial leeks etc.)

  • Many wildflowers and herbs can even be used to attract beneficial insects, such as ladybirds and hoverflys which will in turn reduce pest numbers.

bottom of page